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You Can Do It

Updated on September 5, 2016

The latest life change has been very challenging. I took an early retirement and moved back to my home state of Utah in the winter. I dragged my husband with me. He would have kept on teaching at BYU Hawaii forever had I not given him an ultimatum.

My husband and I have been together way before most of you were born. We met at an LDS church dance in Provo, Utah while he was studying at BYU. Less than a year later, we were married in the Provo Temple.

After twenty plus moves, four children, and twelve beautiful grandchildren, here we are in Utah! Thank you for making us feel welcome.

Only nine months and two days after we were married, we had our lovely daughter. Many of you have expressed your love and admiration for her and her family. I remember when they came to live with us in Hawaii so her husband could finish school. He was taking twenty plus credits a semester to be able to finish in one year. We were delighted when they announced that their daughter, who would be born while they were staying with us. I was there at the hospital when she was delivered. She was only two months old when her daddy graduated and they returned to Utah.

It has been said that what comes easy, won’t last. I have usually done things the hard way. There have been times when I have felt like giving up and not going on. So many things distract us from our goals. “You Can Do It Now”! (with an exclamation point), and I would like to add “with God’s help”, is a needed message for our day.

Some of our grandchildren looking out of the window of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building towards the Salt Lake City Temple.
Some of our grandchildren looking out of the window of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building towards the Salt Lake City Temple. | Source

I have had to tell myself that very thing as we have taken on callings, jobs, moves and other challenges. President Uchtdorf told of the time he was skiing with his grandson and fell and he couldn’t get up. Then his grandson took his hand and in a firm tone said “Opa, you can do it now!” and helped him up.

I had a similar experience when I was skiing up at Sundance quite a few years ago. I hit the moguls (or bumps) and became exhausted and couldn’t get up. However my story ends differently, as the ski patrol had to come and take me down the hill.

But, another time, I was walking with my granddaughter who now lives with her family in Okinawa. I stepped onto some concrete which had a puddle of water on it and my feet went out from under me. I ended up hitting my head hard on the cement. ‘Esa hurriedly came to my side and asked me if I was all right. She held my hand and helped me up. So I can relate to President Uchtdorf’s experience.

One welcome site in Utah!
One welcome site in Utah! | Source

I had to tell myself You Can Do It Now when my husband wanted me to move far away from home to serve at the Liahona High School in Tonga. I also had to tell myself You Can Do It Now when he became a bishop at age 36 when we had four young children in Tonga. Again, I had to tell myself You Can Do It Now when he was called to be mission president of the Tonga Nuku’alofa Mission at the age of forty-two. It was needed when we had several of my husband’s family members stay with us during our marriage.

We were blessed with strong children that have supported us in all that we were called to do. I appreciate them so much for all they have done.

Once again, after all the children had married and graduated from college, I told myself You Can Do It Now when I decided to finish a degree I had started years earlier. It took me thirty years taking one or two classes at a time, but I finally got my degree.

We have been fortunate to have worked most of our life for the Church Educational System surrounded by good examples of devotion.

As I reread President Uchtdorf’s talk, the thing that stood out to me was the idea that we makes choices each day which make us what we are becoming. If we make our choices based on what other people want us to do, we will most likely fail in meeting our goals.

When we found ourselves as empty nesters, we realized my Dad had a few dreams he had not achieved. He wanted to travel to Scotland to see where his ancestors came from. Again, I had to tell myself You Can Do It Now and I made the plans to travel abroad. It was a thrill to be with my father when he realized one of his dreams.

President Uchtdorf said “If we see it as our goal - something we desire to do in order to become more Christlike, it will bless us and others.” If we look with observant eyes and the motive of a caring heart, we will recognize the opportunities the Lord places in front of us. In Colossians 3:23

The scriptures state, “Whatsover ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.”

A few years ago, I had to tell myself again “You Can Do It Now” when we were called to be ordinance workers in the Laie Hawaii Temple. It was very difficult for me to learn all the rules and memorize everything necessary to carry out my responsibilities, but with the Lord’s help, I was able to do it, and felt I was meant to be there. I have found a peace and joy in the temple that I have not found elsewhere.

Our latest goal was to be able to travel to Egypt and be with our grandson for his baptism in the Red Sea. Our son and his family were serving there and it was right at the time when a lot of unrest and chaos was developing in that oppressed country. My father traveled with us again and we had four generations including three Roberts at this wonderful occasion. My father is Robert, our son is Robert and our grandson, Robert.

President Uchtdorf challenged us all to Stand tall and walk in the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He said “You are stronger than you realize. You are more capable than you can imagine. You can do it now. I hope we can all do whatever we do, heartily, for the Lord, and not for men in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.


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  • Shyron E Shenko profile image

    Shyron E Shenko 4 years ago from Texas

    Elayne, I needed to read this, thank you.

    Thank you for following me.

    Voted up ++ and shared.

  • DDE profile image

    Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

    An informative and helpful hub with great encouraging points you can do anything you want if you put your mind to it.

  • LianaK profile image

    LianaK 4 years ago

    Loved this talk! You did such an amazing job.